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Thursday, 26-Apr-2012 02:06 Email | Share | Bookmark
The "Happy Meter" Ideas on how to Increase Employee Happiness a

IntroductionHere is a condition that happens to most managers sooner or later inside their career:As a caring manager, you hold frequent 'one-on-one' meetings with each of your team subscribers. In each meeting, you are making a point of asking, "How are you doing?" Team associate says "Great!" This occurs week following week, month following month. Next one time, the same team associate is in your workplace telling you that (s)he has decided to leave.When do you start hearing precisely what the actual problems are? My encounter is that more or not, it is when the team associate is explaining why they have decided to leave. They are unhappy regarding something: bored, no challenge, wish a job change, etc. If you are lucky, you could also perform a diving conserve and turn the team associate around. However, in many instances, you may have lost your opportunity to solve the problems that caused the team associate to look elsewhere inside the first place.I struggled with this forquite some time, and came upwards with a refreshing answer. Why don't I routinely ask the team subscribers what working well and what's not? Additionally why not ask the team subscribers where they need their job to go inside 2 yrs? If you don't ask, then you may be merely guessingThis post takes this basic premise and creates a "Happy Meter" sheet and tried-and-tested methodology to use any kind of time stage in your company to enhance retention while simultaneously improving team morale and happiness.I have used the "Happy Meter" successfully for many years. It's a wonderful technique for:
  • Finding out what motivates and spoil your team subscribers. The solutions for growing motivation and reducing worries are often amazingly an easy task to implement
  • Structuring a development program for each team associate that may be integrated into performance critiques and reward objective setting
  • Structuring an action program for improving total team retention, happiness,and productivity
However, it merely functions should you, as the team's manager, are committed to creating factors better and are prepared to be calculated against this commitment:
  • In various ways, the "Happy Meter" is a contract between you and the team associate. You will be saying "If you give me the feedback asked for inside the Happy Meter, then I, as your manager, usually accept to do all that I may to make the features better, and eliminate the challenges. It is the one way for you to measure my performance as your manager"
  • You need to take action found on the suggestions collected, and invest sufficient time to follow along with through found on the action program. Otherwise, the team will realize this is just another toothless exercise management is putting them through
  • Be willing for several tough criticism. Much of the suggestions can be provided to you and the technique you run your team. That is difficult to accept.
The rest of this post describes the information of the "Happy Meter" sheet, recommended methods inside how right to deploy the "Happy Meter" methodology, and finally several actual types of the suggestions you can easily expect to accumulate.The "Happy Meter" worksheetThe principal objective of the 'Happy Meter' sheet is to focus the issues on key regions of interest, yet leave the potential range of the solutions to be as open so that broad as potential. The end result should be a highly relevant series of responses that are really important to the team associate. Equally importantly, the responses are articulated inside their words, and not compromised to fit into yours.The second objective of the sheet is to leverage the team member's tips as to how right to resolve their worries and job objectives. They have possibly thought technique more about these problems that you, consequently why not capitalize inside?I oftentimes have individuals submit the sheet as text, yet several individuals choose to talk.In this case, your job is to act as note taker, letting the team associate examine your notes to confirm you may have correctly seized his/her thoughts.The following issues are most pertinent:Q1: How happy are you inside your job?
  • Very Unhappy. Just doing it until I find anything better
  • Unhappy. Number of worries etc. that lessen enjoyment
  • Quite happy. Would be better when several worries removed
  • Very happy. Enjoying the work a lot
  • Extremely happy. Can't imagine a better oneIt is wise to get a high-level sense of happiness. I like to call this the "Happy Meter" rating.Q2: List the top 3 features that make your job gratifying?It is important to initially focus on what exactly is working well, and not just the problems. It sets up a favorable tone for the residual sheet. It also lets you increase those issues that are working well, rather of just minimizing those that are not.Q3: List the top 3 worries or problems that lessen your job reassurance?Notice how open-ended this question and the earlier is? The answers may go inside numerous instructions. This is valuable, considering there is a lot you can easily read into why the team associate picked *those* 3 points to highlight. Outside of the actual data being articulated, there might be designs, or core values you can easily pick up on.Q4: What actions may your manager decide to try eliminate these worries?Take the guesswork from management. Usually the team subscribers have wonderful knowledge into how to fix the problems they mention. Why not inquire?Q5: Describe your job objectives and personal objectives 2 yrs from nowA big part of a team member's happiness can be linked to how quickly they are achieving the specialist and personal objectives they have set for themselves. This is a great time to capture these objectives. Get them describe what their globe appears like 2 yrs from today.Q6: Growth aims you would like to achieve inside the next twelve months that would move you towards your job and interest goalsAgain, often the team subscribers have a sense of the challenges they are interested inside taking on. Ask for their input.The "Happy Meter" methodologyThis section indicates how to deploy the "Happy Meter" in your cluster. I suggest a six-month or twelve-month cycle. Choose what matches right with your performance critiques and/or reward plans plans. The schedule under assumes a four month cycle:First 25 days:
    • Distribute the "Happy Meter" sheet to every associate inside your team
    • Have each team associate fill it out, then present it to you
    • Based on their shows to you, create a set of individual objectives and action program for each team member
    • Armed with all the choice of filled out "Happy Meter" worksheets, extract the normal designs. Then create team objectives as well as an action prefer to reach these goals
    • Present the normal designs and action prefer to your entire team
    30 days to 180 days:
    • On a usual basis, meet with each team associate to examine your progress for their "Happy Meter" sheet, and examine their progress on performance objectives and action program.
    • On a usual basis, meet with your entire team to examine team objectives and action program status.
    180 days:
    • Hold a retrospective for you to improve the methodology next time around
    • Go to step 1 and repeat!
    Each step usually today be discussed inside more detail:Step 1: Distribute the "Happy Meter" worksheetComplete the following tasks:
    • Hand out the Happy Meter throughout one of the one-on-one meetings with all the team member
    • Make a pact with team member
    • (S)he takes the time to thoughtfully submit the worksheet
    • You sign upwards to having your value as a manager calculated on your capability to address the problems where possible
    • Articulate that every the suggestions inside the sheet are kept confidential between manager and team member
    • Set a date and time to meet up with and examine the 'Happy Meter' suggestions (for example, inside two weeks).
    Step 2: Get the team associate submit the sheet, and present it to youComplete the following tasks:
    • Let the team associate submit the "Happy Meter" sheet using whatever medium functions best for him/her. Some will want to write down their suggestions. Many usually want to verbalize their suggestions. Many can need help sharing and articulating their views before telling you. In any case, do what you can easily to capture the suggestions into a written form without injecting your own viewpoint found on the data received.
    • In the presentation meeting, you: Listen
    • Clarify
    • Understand expectations
    • Obtain mutual knowing of resolution difficulty.
    • Brainstorm with all the team associate on potential solutions
    NOTE: Many worries and solutions can be in the control to solve (e.g. "I don't think the professionals are taking the business inside the ideal direction"). It is fine to strike a few of the worries off the list as "Not solvable" or "Out of the sphere of influence". However, you'll find that various are unimportant and will be solved quickly.
    • File away the "Happy Meter" sheet where you can think it is again. This suggestions is golden information! Give the team associate a copy
    Step 3: Create a set of individual objectives and action program for each team memberCreate a personal action program for each team associate that will:
    • Leverage what's working well
    • Remove or lessen the frustrations
    • Address the job and interest objectives for the coming year
    I found it is a wonderful idea to include a of this action program into your team member's performance review. All too often, I see the performance review be a summary of the jobs that a individual did over earlier times yr, and a list of the jobs that they have to do over the coming yr. This future list is a bit more to do withall the work that has to get performed vs the strengths, challenges, and job objectives for the team associate.A much better technique to grow a team associate is to focus found on the developing skills and job objectives, and create a series of jobs and assignments that absolutely 'get the job done', yet might help furthermore move the person quickly towards these objectives. As an example, when they are interested in a project leadership position, then over the year, you could also task these phones play alot of a supervisory character over hot hires. If teamwork is a talent required to advance to the next stage, then have the team associate show better teamwork with colleagues etc.Step 4: Gather popular designs, and create team objectives and action plansComplete the following tasks:
    • Review the choice of "Happy Meter" worksheets, and summarize key designs into a report. You don't ever like to expose the data written inside individual "Happy Meter" worksheets, becauseit situated on a confidential discussion between you and your team associate. However, you can easily extract popular designs expressed by much more more team subscribers.
    • Work with all the key leaders/managers inside your team to: Validate the data inside the report (i.e. are the features and worries correctly seized inside the report?)
    • Create organizational objectives to lessen top worries by x%
    • Lay out the team action plan to achieve goal(s).
    Note this summary of "Happy Meter" designs, objectives, and action program can occur any kind of time stage inside the business. A first-level manager would gather together all the designs for his/her team. A second-level manager would have the managers do their summary initially, then he/she would gather together all the 'designs of themes', and so forth.Step 5: Present the organizational designs, objectives, and action prefer to your entire teamAs a manager, this is a wonderful opportunity to contact your entire team on anything they are assured to care about - themselves. Use the meeting as a chance to formulate what you believe the features and worries are inside the team. Be watched to understand these points, and display that you have a program inside place to address the worries. Seek feedback as to how well you realize the problems. Seek suggestions found on the action program. Adjust each appropriately.Step 6: Review individual "Happy Meter" sheet, objectives and action planOn a system basis, you should:
    • Review the person "Happy Meter" worksheets to ensure you may be ready with creating the changes you consented to. Hopefully a few of the frustrations have been removed. Maybe several hot ones have popped upwards. Refine the "Happy Meter" action program as needed
    • Review the performance objectives and action program that you designed for the team associate. How are they progressing?
    I find that monthly is a reasonable cadence for this review.Step 7: Review team objectives and action planOn a system basis, you should:
    • Present the team objectives and action program status with your entire team. As a manager, it is surprisingly difficult to stand upwards facing your organization when no progress has been made! Hopefully however, you and your team leaders and managers have been capable to make progress. Sharing that progress with all the company to 1) get validation that the progress was seen by them and 2) display you are being sensitive for their desires, is a big morale booster for the team. Based on suggestions from the presentation, hone the team objectives and action program as required.
    I find that quarterly is a reasonable cadence for this presentationStep 8: Hold a retrospectiveBefore beginning the cycle over, take to meet with all the entire team and hold a retrospective. Discuss what exactly is working, what isn't working, and changes required before implementing the cycle next time aroundStep 9: RepeatThe "Happy Meter" is a task of constant improvement. So store away the person worksheets, plans, and team shows for reference. Then start over!Real types of suggestions collectedThe following are actual types of suggestions that I have accumulated over time."Happy Meter" worksheetsI have usually been amazed and impressed with what I find out when individuals answer the four 'Happy Meter' issues. Below is a typical sample:
    • "This shouldn't bother me, yet it really does. Why does Joe get a windowpane cube and I don't?"
    • "I absolutely would wish to project lead. Maybe I may handle a summer intern tell you that I'm capable"
    • "I absolutely like the individuals inside the team. We work well together"
    • "I like to go part time thus that I may devote more time with my kids"
    • "I feel that I've been instrumental inside creating several key initiatives lucrative, yet my character has been limited to just xyz"
    • "Our cluster is not a team, you don't respect each different, you don't have a popular vision, etc."
    • "All this overhead is frustrating - I can't get my actual work performed to my satisfaction"
    • "I like to move to Europe inside two years"
    I personally preferred the "Why does Joe have a windowpane cube?" comment. This had been a significant matter for Bob. It bothered him daily. We had just moved into a room with development inside mind and you were reserving several windowpane offices for future senior hires. In hindsight, trading off the wants of a wonderful staff up against the wants of a future hire appeared silly. So we gave Bob a windowpane cube that day, and he was happy as a gather. A big matter solved inside minutes!Happy Meter SummaryA chart of the distribution of "Happy Meter" reviews asked inside question 1 of the sheet.1: \n2: ********** \n3: ***************************************** \n4: ****************************** \n5: ******************If this isn't the very first time doing this, then I suggest furthermore showing the distribution inside the last cycle. If there have been movement upward inside the average reviews, then this is wonderful data to display the team.What's working wellA typical Pareto chart could search like:Quality of people: ************************************* \nChallenging work: ***************************** \nGreat management: ********************* \nFlexible work hours: **************** \nFreedom, Independence: ************* \nRespected, recognized: ****What wonderful info to get on your team - they are loving the individuals they are working with, they feel challenged. Look at the pat found on the back for management! Great job!FrustrationsA typical Pareto chart could search like:Not enough time to do job well: ************************************ \nNo stability inside individuals or process: ******************* \nComputers and network broken: *********** \nNot sure where the business is going: ******* \nOffice room too noisy: ****** \nRemote workplace complicated to work with: **** \nCommute too long: ***Not sure I've ever met a team that feels that they have all the time or resources they need, thus you could also need to dig deeper into what exactly is at the heart of this matter. But "no stability" and "broken computers" are far easier projects to pursue. What is much better than significantly closing out two of the top 3 worries inside the cluster?Career goals:A typical Pareto chart could search like:No change: ********************************************************** \nWant a hot function: ************ \nGet into management: ******* \nGet a degree: **** \nGo part-time: **This is not info that I suggest you share with all the entire team, because it has less to do with all the team overall. Instead I would use this data in your staff to deal with impending change. I had one encounter inside that, following doing the 'Happy Meter' task, a manager came into my workplace and slumped into the chair. "My entireteam is planning on exiting inside one yr!" Now she had been a wonderful manager. It was just that her team consisted of high-growth people, which were aggressive regarding moving their occupations ahead. After the initial shock, it was wonderful to have the data. It was much better to have 12 months advance caution inside vs having to deal with it reactively. Ultimately, the individuals did leave, yet the cluster continued to rebuild and move along without lost a heartbeat.Ph Meter\nph meter


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